Youth Voting

Engaging Youth Voters

Since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971, one trend has remained constant across all elections: our youngest voters have lower turnout rates than any other age group.

Years of research (see data from CIRCLE at Tuft’s University) reveal a number of ways to support young voters, and the potential solutions are as diverse as the communities served by our YMCAs around the country. That’s where you come in.

The Y is asking youth and adult staff/volunteers to help transform the culture around youth voting in our schools and communities, ensuring the highest possible rates of youth voter turnout and engaging youth voices at all levels of government.


Civic Holidays

Commit to taking part in four national Civic Holidays with the goal of transforming youth participation in your school and community:

1.) National Voter Registration Day

Identify and introduce yourself to your local elections official, then develop a strategy to register 10 new youth voters ages 16/17/18 (depending on state) up to age 25 in your school/community on or before National Voter Registration Day.

2.) National Voter Education Week

Celebrate National Voter Education Week: #VoteReady (Monday), #MailReady (Tuesday), #VotePlanReady (Wednesday), #BallotReady (Thursday), and #WeReady (Friday).

3.) Vote Early Day

Celebrate Vote Early Day by either voting early yourself (if eligible) or taking part in a Vote Early Day effort to help young people cast their ballots before Election Day.

4.) Election Hero Day

Finally, be part of Election Hero Day by signing-up to serve as a youth poll worker in your community through our partners at Power the Polls, or – if you’re an adult volunteer/staff – take part in youth poll worker recruitment strategies!


Youth Voter Resources

In addition to the organizations and resources already mentioned, we have also organized an additional list of links and materials to help support your youth voter outreach efforts: